NORTH ISLAND, B.C. – Mainroad North Island Contracting is getting set to make roads safer for local drivers over the fall and winter months.

Mainroad has been tasked with servicing the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s 10 year contract for Service Area 3.

According to Mainroad, the North Island Service Area has roughly 3,474 lane kilometres of maintained road, including approximately 983 lane kilometres of numbered highways, 11 rest areas, and 312 structures including 194 bridges, 74 major culverts, 33 retaining walls, and four tunnels.

It’s a big job that Mainroad North Island is looking forward to taking on, noted the company’s general manager Rick Gill.

“We want to bring some new maintenance ideas to the area,” Gill said.

Changes include the company’s anti-icing program, focusing on the use of liquid brine.

Mainroad has purchased several new tridem axle tankers with the capacity of carrying up to 20,000 litres of brine to perform pre-icing and de-icing in the event of the storm.

Also coming to the table are new wing trucks that will allow extra plowing in one pass.

The company also has a new facility in Port McNeill.

“We’re not in Port Hardy anymore,” Gill said. “When we looked at the whole program (Port) McNeill makes a lot more sense. You are kind of in the middle of the area, not at the end of the road.”

A new salt shed at the Port McNeill site has the capacity of holding up to 100,000 litres of brine.

A new facility is also in the works in the Duncan Bay area of Campbell River. It will include a salt shed and a new building.

The headquarters and primary works yard for Mainroad North Island is located in Cumberland with supporting works yards in Campbell River, Gold River, Port McNeill, Sayward and the Gulf Islands of Quadra, Cortes, Denman and Hornby.

This service area contains four numbered routes: Highway 19 & Highway 19A connecting the North Island Service Area with the Mid-Island Service Area 2 and at Cook Creek, Highway 28 to Gold River, and Highway 30 to Port Alice.

North Island encompasses the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port McNeill and Port Hardy, along with the smaller municipalities of Port Alice, Alert Bay, Sayward, Gold River, Tahsis, and Zeballos.

Mainroad North Island  also services the following:

  • Denman Island
  • Hornby Island
  • Quadra Island
  • Cortes Island

 “We’re really committed to delivering highway maintenance,” Gill said.

Using social media as a tool, MainRoad is focused on letting stakeholders and the public know about changes and winter weather, according to Gill.

“We anticipate an event and then MainRoad contracting is out there doing preventative de-icing to make the roads as safe as possible for the travelling public,” he said.